Pure PlayStation’s Jake Ellis is more than a little excited for Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky, so he’s put his feelings of excitement, joy and love into a nice little feature for all to read. Aw, isn’t that sweet of him? [Ed – This is actually Jake’s first post on Pure PlayStation! Welcome, Jake!]
No Man’s Sky by Hello Games has easily become one of the most highly anticipated games of the year and is now just over 2 months away from us. Naturally, then, my boss has already been informed that I am particularly prone to illness around the game’s release date. With the launch looming over us it seems like the perfect opportunity for a recap on what we should be expecting.
First and foremost, the infinite universe we have to explore and its almost incomprehensible size seems like a childhood dream come true. However you may be wondering how an infinitely huge game can fit onto a PS4 hard drive? The answer to that would be some extremely complex mathematical algorithms that procedurally generate everything the game has to offer from the size and atmosphere of planets to the texture of the plant and animal life which basically means that very little has to be physically stored on your system.
Equally as impressive is the way that the algorithm generates exactly the same for different players, your experience on a planet will be the same as another player who visits the same planet and if you get there first you can even name it. Now the word infinite has been thrown around a lot but really if you want a number on how many planets there are then you are in luck, there are roughly 2^64 planets in the game (take a deep breath) which in words would be:
Eighteen quintillion, four hundred and forty-six quadrillion, seven hundred and forty-four trillion, seventy-four billion, seven hundred and nine million, five hundred and fifty-one thousand, six hundred and sixteen…. Give or take a few.
However, this does spell bad news for all the completionists out there as unless you’ve got about 5 billion years to kill, you won’t be visiting everything here. But in the end that seems like a small price to pay – who hasn’t always wanted a game where you can literally go anywhere and do anything?
Now for the gameplay itself, Hello Games’ managing director Sean Murray has revealed in interviews that there will be no linear narrative or any storyline at all; in fact it is very much a make your own story kind of game. Every player will start somewhere different in the universe with the same basic ship to begin their journey, and from there it is entirely up to you what you get up to in the digital universe.
Graphics-wise the game sports a somewhat cartoonish art style that mixes with the vivid colours to produce a breathtakingly stunning game. I can foresee some unfathomable quantities of screenshots being shared after the release and unlike other games, the chances are that other players’ screenshots will be of things you’ve never seen in your own game; a truly unique experience. Surely, then, a graphically impressive, impossibly big game has got to have some serious loading screens right? Not according to the managing director, due to the universe being procedurally generated there will be no loading screens necessary. Even more impressively, you don’t even have to be online to play! The algorithm is stored on your system and can generate the universe with or without internet connection, however, I suspect in offline mode you won’t be able to name planets, see the names of planets other players have named or bump into other players. Although with over 18 quintillion planets what are the chances of finding someone else’s planet?
Finally, many people have been wondering what your goal will actually be in the game – yes there is a game within this immense concept. The answer to that would be quite simply to find the ever perplexing centre of the universe. Although you will be doing considerably more than just that as No Man’s Sky includes many survival aspects, for example developing technologies to combat the extreme atmospheres, as well as a trading economy in which you can buy and sell resources to aid you. Although at the end of the day if you just want to be a space pirate then that is also an entirely viable option.
No Man’s Sky is set to release on PS4 first of all in North America on the 21st of June, followed by Europe on the 22nd and the UK on the 24th. The game will be available both digitally from the PSN store and as a physical disc in both standard and limited editions. If you are in the UK and looking at pre-ordering, keep in mind GAME is offering the upgraded Alpha Vector ship as a pre-order bonus exclusive to them in the UK!